News24

Hout Bay elderly flee fire

2012-02-06 16:55

Cape Town - Emergency workers were evacuating residents of a retirement village on Monday afternoon because of smoke caused by a fire on Hout Bay mountain.

Emergency medical services spokesperson Keri Davids said the evacuation started at about 14:10 on Victoria Road.

"Emergency medical practitioners are currently assisting with the evacuation of residents of a retirement village due to smoke coming from a vegetation fire on the Hout Bay mountain," she said.

Fire and Rescue spokesperson Theo Layne said a number of vehicles had been sent to battle the blaze, which bordered on a residential area.

"The fire is not under control, but no properties are in immediate danger," he said. "Right now, it all depends on wind conditions."

Lane said the cause of the fire was not known.

He said another fire in the Macassar area, outside Cape Town, had been extinguished by Monday afternoon. A number of smaller fires were burning around the city. Firefighters were dealing with them.

Lightning strike

Working on Fire spokesperson Leanne McKrill said a lightning strike had set off a fire outside Hermanus on Monday morning.

"We don't have a team out there, but a helicopter is monitoring it," she said.

Fires were also burning in Piketberg, north of Cape Town, in Aurora on the West Coast, above Caledon and in Ouplaas near Du Toitskloof.

McKrill said a fire in the Stanford area, also near Hermanus, kept "standing up and dying down".

Firemen had believed earlier that the fire had been extinguished.

A fireman was killed on Sunday when a boulder fell on him while he was battling the blaze between Piketberg and Velddrif .

Davids said the man, in his 30s, had been helping to fight the 4-day-old fire in the Moutonshoek valley.

"He was with six firemen and somehow the ground they were on gave way, and three of them fell. He fell about 30m and a boulder landed on top of him, crushing him to death."

The other two men did not fall as far and escaped injury. Davids said a rescue team stayed with the men overnight as the weather was bad.

They were helped to the base of the mountain on Monday morning.

The fireman's body was retrieved by helicopter and hoisted down to rescuers.

Comments
  • Penny - 2012-02-06 21:34

    @Margie, at this time of the year there are fires aplenty in the Cape due to extremely high temps and very dry veld and just small piece of glass or tin can ignite dry grasses etc, unfortunately in recent years, suspicion has also fallen on deliberate fire starting after a rash of fires in a particular part of the Peninsula breaking out late in the week and over weekends - overtime pay! but no investigative findings were made public.

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